The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian Socialist. Now what?

Here is one of those things you learn when you delve into one of those bathroom readers stored in the water closet of every bed and breakfast in the country. Shocking thing, really. At least if you’re one of those people who assumes that traditions such as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance were handed down straight to the human race from God or the Father of Our Country. But those people seldom really are correct. And so it is with the Pledge of Allegiance, which was written in sort of a publicity stunt for a magazine titled The Youth’s Companion, a family magazine similar to The Readers Digest of today.

You can look it up, or read about it in a bathroom reader like I did. Which prompted one of those “Well, huh…” responses with a shoulder shrug that had nothing to do with the business in which I was engaged. Instead, the information dump was profound to me, that we’ve been had, in a way.

According to one of those humble little Internet source pages that was authored in the predawn of the digital age around 1992 and has not been radically altered since because simple facts don’t really change and do not therefore require a fancily designed website, the Pledge of Allegiance was authored in 1892 by a Baptist Minister named Francis Bellamy. Now, before we get too far into the story, let us stop and consider that back when Bellamy was writing, the word “Baptist” did not automatically refer to some close-minded person who hates Darwin and votes Republican. Instead, Bellamy seemed a rather liberal type by comparison,